Excuse my deliberately wrong headline. Dodge sold this one as the Nitro, on the same platform as the Jeep Rendition*.
It does look like they followed the same playbook as the 2002 Range Rover L322. It also looks like the pencil line thickness on the drawing guided the depth and breadth of the wheel arch lip grooves. It resembles a car to be seen from a good distance.
Didn’t Giugiario once ask about the TR7 “Don’t tell me they did that on the other side”? What I think about the Nitro is that the front and back are exactly like the sides. “Don’t tell me they did that on the front and back too.” Well, they did. That’s, in a way, a kind of compliment. It’s very consistent. You don’t need to see either end once you’ve seen the side.
The 2007 Nitro has the especial distinction of being the first Dodge-branded car to be sold in Europe. It appeared at the same time as the Liberty/Cherokee and Dieter Zetsche’s announcement that Mercedes would be ending its less than stellar relationship with Chrysler. That detail goes some way towards explaining its rarity. I don’t think I have seen one before.
While its dimensions say moderate size, the ultra-butch looks, 1800 kg weight and absurd choice of 3.7 and 4.0 litre V6 engines say “Don’t buy me”. A 2.7 diesel L4 from VM Motori could also be had – thus the Nitro really had one not-very-desirable engine to make its case. VM Motori are worth a further look – why do they exist?
*another satirical error.